School Sells Out Students' First Amendment Rights, Apologizes And Deletes Article Containing Controversial Images

from the when-you-value-the-relationship-with-the-PD-more-than-the-relationship-with-stud dept

This line of thinking can never be reinforced too often by public officials: the First Amendment is great but only if your speech doesn't offend someone powerful. (via Adam Steinbaugh)

A California high school took matters into its own hands -- not even waiting to see if powerful people were offended -- and memory-holed both its physical and online student publication after a student wrote article about the relationship between art and activism made some parents take to Facebook to complain about "liberal propaganda."

The article contained images found via Google searches, including one depicting Trump with a Nazi symbol on his head and another with a cop in Klan hood pointing a gun at a black child meant to represent Travon Martin. The following image comes from the Facebook post that started the backlash against the school.

The cascade of criticism on Facebook led to the mayor of the California town (Don Kendrick) to offer this explanation of how someone at the Bonita High School made the mistake of allowing students to engage in protected speech. [Line breaks added for readability, since apparently even mayoral announcements on Facebook must be delivered as a wall of text.]

First, I would like to thank everyone for your interest in this topic. Yes, I was furious when I first learned about this and I am still concerned. But I have had discussions with a number of people and would like to share those with you.

I would like to address two issues. One, the incident, and the other, the clubs at Bonita High School. First the incident. As most of you know, the city of La Verne Police Department has a very good, if not excellent, relationship with our school district, and especially Bonita High School, with a police officer assigned to the La Verne schools as a School Resource officer. This is a relationship that has been ongoing for over 25 years.

This unfortunate incident with the school newspaper has turned out to be a very bad judgment call by a new teacher, not an example of what normally goes on at the school. One Bonita teacher went to the police station on his own, talked to the Chief of Police, and apologized on behalf of what he said was 99.9% of the teachers at the school. Further, the Superintendent of Bonita Unified School District and the Principal of Bonita High School also went to the police station, met with the Chief, and apologized. Mistakes are made. The Police Department is fully committed to working with everyone in the school district, including the students, to make our community the best it can be. The Chief said it was an unfortunate mistake, but should not be used to judge the school district or the relationship that exists with the police department, and one that will continue to exist.

The second topic is the Bonita High School clubs. Did you know that there were over 60 clubs on the campus? Why so many? Because there is a wide variety of interests among the students. There is a club for everything you can think of, and even a club if there is no other club to belong to. Engaged students, doing things they like, leave little time to become engaged in destructive activities like we have recently witnessed in Florida. Every student at Bonita High School is expected to be engaged and involved in something. We are a better community when they are.

Thank you for your time.

Within this announcement are several concerning statements and assertions. First, the mayor is ready to throw a single teacher under the bus for allowing students to freely express controversial ideas. Second, the school is apparently so worried local officers might be offended that it took it upon itself to make sure local cops knew this was the work of one bad apple. Third, the mayor insinuates that approved school activities, if there's enough of them, will either prevent school shootings (which I doubt is what he meant -- no one refers to shootings as "activities") or prevent students from engaging in activism (like the several protests/walkouts that followed the Parkland shooting). If it's the latter, the mayor is encouraging the school to further divert students away from any outlet in which controversial ideas might be expressed. This is bad for students and bad for the First Amendment.

The thread of comments on the Facebook post that started this all is the expected hellhole of ignorance and calls for heads. The two Fox articles covering this both claim officers were offended by the publication but feature no direct quotes from anyone at the PD saying as much. As quickly as staff rushed off to prevent public servants from having their feelings hurt by a publication they likely never would have seen, it's hard to believe any officers were offended until after they'd been apprised of the situation. It's not like the PD applied pressure on the school. The school just simply abdicated its responsibility to its students in favor of preemptive feather de-rufflings.

To top it all off, the school's statement on the issue is a non sequitur.

"There is a California Education Code that affirms the First Amendment rights of student newspapers," Carl Coles, the interim superintendent of the Bonita School District, said in the statement. "The student journalist's article does not represent the views of Bonita High School or the District."

Great. But what the hell does that mean in this context? A school vanished away speech it find uncomfortable despite this "affirmation" of students' rights. If the school had left the article live on the website and the physical publication untouched and simply informed parents, cops, and the mayor that it did not represent the views of the school, everything would have turned out much better than it has. Instead, the school has announced its subservience to local law enforcement and its willingness to silence students rather than overrule heckler's vetoes.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 3:59am

    What have we learned from this children?

    They say Civil Servant, what they mean is Civil Master.

    Shhhhhh. Be vewwy vewwy quiet, its supposed to be a secret.

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  • icon
    bhull242 (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 4:42am

    Did the article mention these images in a way suggesting that the writer agreed with the message of these images? Did it have images critical of liberal and/or historical figures, too? Because the title sounds more like it’s purely analytical of how art and politics interact rather than espousing a particular viewpoint. It seems plausible that the people yelling “liberal bias” didn’t bother to consider the context the images were used in and/or cherry-picked only the images that offended them while ignoring any others that they agreed with.

    Unfortunately, with the original article now gone, I cannot know for sure. Has anyone here seen the actual article to determine the full context for these images.

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    • identicon
      Valkor, 30 Mar 2018 @ 12:39pm

      Re:

      I would rather have a discussion of crappy political art, and how logical fallacies like false dichotomy and straw man arguments effect "propaganda" of every stripe. In my perfect world, the memory-holed article "Artist and Activist" would discuss how was as important to be coherent with your images as it was with your words.

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  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 4:43am

    >"There is a California Education Code that affirms the First Amendment rights of student newspapers," Carl Coles, the interim superintendent of the Bonita School District, said in the statement. "The student journalist's article does not represent the views of Bonita High School or the District."

    But what the hell does that mean in this context?

    I read it to mean that the student newspaper, which is owned by the Bonita School District, has First Amendment rights; but the students do not.

    That might seem incorrect (and it is) but that's the view the Supreme Court holds as well. After all, we must protect the little kiddies from having "wrong" thoughts.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 5:11am

      Re:

      Any school newspaper would presumably have had a teacher in charge to review and approve everything before it got published. I don't know how the 1st amendment comes into play, since the school administration would have ultimate authority over school publications anyway, and any public school is essentially a government organization (as are the police) so does the 1st amendment even apply?

      And what about the copyright of these images presumably "stolen" from internet websites?

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      • icon
        David (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 5:23am

        Re: Re:

        This would fall under "fair use". The images are the topic of conversation, not being used to promote something else. This is why a news agency can show a picture of a store front and not get sued for "using" the store's logo.

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      • icon
        David (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 5:38am

        Re: Re:

        This would fall under "fair use".

        Pursuant to 17 U.S. Code § 107, certain uses of copyrighted material "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 8:19am

        Re: Re:

        "public school is essentially a government organization (as are the police) so does the 1st amendment even apply? "

        Please restate the question.

        The 1st amendment stipulates that the government (fed, state, local) can not infringe upon ...

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        • icon
          JoeCool (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 9:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          One could argue that *teachers* are government employees, so they don't have a 1st amendment right in their role as teachers, but students cannot in any way be construed in the same light and clearly retain 1st amendment rights.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 8:31am

      Re:

      No, what the SCOTUS ruled is that students have free speech rights in school activities up until the speech causes disruption in those activities. It's not an unreasonable (nor an incorrect) balance between the rights of a student and that of the school's interest in order and discipline to get on with the school's role in education. It doesn't say anything about restricting students holding from contrary views to what the school is teaching. Only that the student may not express (any) views (for or against) in a manner that disrupts a school's need to maintain discipline.

      Whether or not the voting public agrees with what the school is teaching and the manner of maintaining discipline is a matter for the school boards and legislative branches.

      Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District 1969
      Ingraham v. Wright 1977

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      • icon
        Coyne Tibbets (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 12:24pm

        Re: Re:

        Which means the students do not have free speech.

        Let's put it this way. Suppose the First Amendment said:

        Congress shall make no law abridging free speech except for the purpose of preventing disruption of the country.

        Would you think we would be able to say anything the government didn't like? Of course not, because everything the government doesn't like would be obviously disruptive.

        So the Supreme Court authorized schools to ban any student speech the administrators don't like, equals no free speech Right for students.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 12:52pm

        Re: Re:

        and who gets to determine exactly what constitutes a disruption ... already know - had to say it anyway

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 2:43pm

        Re: Re:

        "students have free speech rights in school activities up until the speech causes disruption"

        Isn't this very similar to being in public? You can talk all you want in town square until you cause a disturbance and then leos write you up for disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, loitering, skateboarding, not reading the signs or some other such non sense.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 3:05pm

          Loitering, skateboarding...

          Loitering as a criminal offense is typically a response to merchants who are worried kids around will lose them walk-in traffic.

          Skateboarding is disruptive to pedestrians when they skate too close. As a result, law enforcement tends to presume all skateboarders are disruptive.

          It's similar with law enforcement harassment of teens in general. Teens have a reputation of being ruder, poorer, more mischievous than adults, so policies are made to discourage teen traffic, and law enforcement is more inclined to engage teens than adults. Also teens are less familiar with the law, and are less certain what a police officer is allowed to do or not do.

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          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 2 Apr 2018 @ 6:55am

            Re: Loitering, skateboarding...

            > Skateboarding is disruptive to pedestrians when they
            > skate too close. As a result, law enforcement tends to
            > presume all skateboarders are disruptive.

            Well, that and when they use my driveway as their own personal skate park. I literally have to keep my car parked in the driveway instead of in my garage to create an obstacle for them, or I'll have a pride of skateboarders every day doing their little flip tricks for hours on end. And when they miss (as they do about 90% of the time because they're not even very good at skateboarding), the board slaps down on the concrete with a sound the equivalent of a rifle shot, which makes it so super easy for us to put our infant down in the afternoon for a nap. Oh, and for a bunch of 11-14 year olds, they have quite the filthy vocabulary. My three-year-old is learning some wonderful words from the pre-pubescent assholes outside.

            Yes, I'm that old man shouting "Get off my lawn!"

            I don't care.

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 2 Apr 2018 @ 9:51am

              Using a driveway as a skate park

              The skateboarders miss a lot because they're practicing.

              But noise pollution is a legitimate gripe, especially when you (or your child) are trying to sleep. My town is a pass-through point for touring motorcyclists who've removed / sabotaged their mufflers since it helps motorists know they're there (that's the explanation, at least). It doesn't help my sleep when they go by the main boulevard where I live.

              But again that's not motorcyclists in general, but a storm of problems that makes for many offenders to my sleep.

              Tony Hawk is apparently trying to open free public-access skate parks in low-income neighborhoods, so that prides of skaters have a place to practice. It doesn't fix the problem, but it helps.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous, 3 Apr 2018 @ 6:05am

                Re: Using a driveway as a skate park

                And they can practice elsewhere. Your whataboutism is irrelevant in the face of the fact that boards slapping the concrete right outside your window in your driveway in your residential neighborhood repeatedly for hours is nothing like a noisy vehicle passing by every now and then.

                I grew up skating, but that doesn't change the fact that we are not beholden to the desires of children who generally care only about themselves.

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                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Apr 2018 @ 11:35am

                  Re: Re: Using a driveway as a skate park

                  I don't know what I said that was whataboutism, rather I was trying to be empathetic and note that the vermin infesting your parking lot are not representative of all children.

                  But apparently Anonymous you're determined to be antagonistic. Fair enough. Feel free to push legislation to outlaw children in your community.

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    • identicon
      Azrael, 31 Mar 2018 @ 2:30am

      Re:

      Yes, i know, you're a liberal, big complex thought are way beyond your mental capabilities, hence the need for line breaks, but come on, the ruling was clear: while the student had his right of free speech the student newspaper was in no way forced to carry it.
      As for protecting the little kiddies from having "wrong" thoughts, we already do that: it's called political correctness.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2018 @ 6:48am

        Re: Re:

        Go ahead, kick the dog because you had a bad day.

        Feel better now?

        Your dog hates you, but you knew that - right?

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 31 Mar 2018 @ 11:40am

        Wow, my poe meter just went off the scale.

        Azrael I can't tell if you really hate liberals with that much fervor (and buy the ultra-conservative party line) or are parodying the degree to which extremists hate. Well done, walking the razer's edge!

        I get having reverence for Ingsoc and Big Brother, but pretending your girlfriend is BB while you fuck her is a bit over the top.

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  • icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 5:00am

    Probably wasn't a math teacher.

    "behalf of what he said was 99.9% of the teachers "
    They've got at least 1,000 teachers at this school? What are the class sizes like?

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    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 5:56am

      Re: Probably wasn't a math teacher.

      I was going to point out the same thing. This was CLEARLY not the math teacher... at least, I HOPE it wasn't.

      But it's telling that the first thing they thought was to go grovelling on their hands and knees and hoped that throwing someone to the lions was enough to appease their local slaughter machine. It's more telling of what the local police are like than the image that started all this.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 8:21am

      Re: Probably wasn't a math teacher.

      Sorta like misuse of the word literal - lolz

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 8:49am

      Re: Probably wasn't a math teacher.

      Didn't I read somewhere that the preferred class ratio is 15 to one? (Oh...)

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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 5:09am

    Wow, it is amazing how far up their asses he managed to get his nose.

    The clubs will keep them from shooting up schools... W T F?

    While YOUR community might have a wonderful relationship where the mayor is willing to suck all the cocks, have you seen the rest of the country? How DARE these children who need to grow up to be adults discuss things that make me uncomfortable to the point I have to screw over a teacher, who I have no actual power over, and send another teacher to apologies to the cops who's feelz got hurt.

    Luckily the teacher who went didn't surprise the cops and get shot.

    You can not keep high school students in cocoons where the ills of the world are never mentioned, they are gonna be able to vote soon or go to war, or run a recall campaign for a mayor more interested in trampling the 1st Amendment & orally servicing cops than follow the Constitution of the US.

    Parents were offended!!! OH MY HEAVENS!!!
    I'm offended they expect the rest of the world to be censored only to the nice parts so they never have to have real discussions with this kids and do that hard work of parenting.

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    • identicon
      Azrael, 31 Mar 2018 @ 2:34am

      Re:

      Yet the liberals get in a tiffy every single time you mention the fact that pavement apes have a far higher percentage of criminals among their race and that has nothing to do with their economical and educational status.
      How about that?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2018 @ 6:57am

        Re: Re:

        It is fact that our prison populations do not reflect the distribution of race as seen in the general public.

        There are many possible reasons for this, some more plausible than others.



        "and that has nothing to do with their economical and educational status."

        Of course not. It has everything to do with the criminal justice system.



        "How about that?"

        Yeah - how 'bout that ... Ok, so you are a bigot.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous, 3 Apr 2018 @ 6:08am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It is a face that the distribution of the prison population reflects the criminality rate of the demographics that make up the prison population.

          Stop pretending plea downs for repeat offenders is "they were just smoking weed, mannnnn".

          And cut the crap with the labels. You morons have caused them to lose all effectiveness.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous, 3 Apr 2018 @ 6:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            fact*

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 12:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Wealth and connections keep many people from going to prison who would otherwise likely get 'the book' thrown at them. Considering that billionaires Sholom Rubashkin and Marc Rich -- who got presidential pardons -- were so deep in criminality that they should have been locked away for life.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              k, 4 Apr 2018 @ 11:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Just a quibble, but Marc Rich didn't get a pardon. He got a conditional executive order stipulating that he would be pardoned if he repaid his victims. He turned the deal down and is still looking at jail if he ever returns to the US

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Apr 2018 @ 2:50pm

        Re: Re: "pavement apes"

        I hope you know that your arguments about race and crime statistics are much less likely to be taken seriously when you use terms like "pavement apes."

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  • icon
    Oblate (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 5:55am

    A club for everybody, wow...

    Did you know that there were over 60 clubs on the campus?

    I did not. Is there a club on campus for boot-licking? Or is that just for administrators and teachers?

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  • identicon
    Jay, 30 Mar 2018 @ 6:50am

    This school

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  • icon
    btr1701 (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 6:52am

    Nazi Presidents

    Something tells me the reaction would be vastly different if the article had depicted Obama as Hitler. Experience has shown me that the same people who had no problem depicting Bush as a Nazi (and now Trump) lost their collective shit when it was done to Obama.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 7:01am

      Re: Nazi Presidents

      Feel free to point to proganda-laden articles and blogspot posts that show how Obama acted like a fascist while in office. Maybe there's a difference in reaction when there's a difference in the behavior.

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      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 7:39am

        Re: Re: Nazi Presidents

        > Feel free to point to proganda-laden articles and
        > blogspot posts that show how Obama acted like a fascist
        > while in office.

        Well, Obama-- despite being lauded as a 'constitutional law professor' by his acolytes-- decided that Congress was a mere formality and could be completely ignored in favor of presidential decrees whenever it was politically convenient for him.

        When Congress wouldn't act to create DACA, he just did it himself, despite there being zero authority for the president to unilaterally amend an act of Congress with an executive order, and despite campaigning *against* just that sort of abuse of power by the Executive Branch during his campaign, calling it 'dictatorial'.

        He did the same thing with Obamacare. The statute passed by Congress had hard deadlines for implementation and Obama just waived them with a stroke of his pen, despite having no legal or constitutional authority to do it.

        That may not be 'fascist'-- too many people use that word as a synonym for 'bad' these days without knowing what it actually means-- but it sure as hell is a significant step toward the dictatorial and not in line with either the letter or spirit of the Constitution.

        Contrast that to what Trump is being called 'fascist' for-- mostly for his crackdown on illegal immigration-- which is not actually fascist, dictatorial, or unconstitutional at all. It's actually right in line with both the constitutional duties and responsibilities of the Executive Branch of the US government. The fact that both parties have shirked that responsibility for years, resulting in unbridled lawlessness with regard to immigration, does not make Trump 'fascist' for putting a stop to it.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 8:08am

          Re: Re: Re: Nazi Presidents

          Deportations of illegal aliens were actually higher under Obama than under trump.

          and let's not forget Obama's infamous "White Paper" in which he gave himself the extraordinary power to assassinate American citizens on US soil.

          or promising to end domestic spying and instead greatly expanding it.

          Obama was also a warmonger, threatening Iran and Syria and attacking Libya without congressional approval, then refusing to abide by the War Powers Resolution.

          The list goes on and on. Obama turned out to be the exact opposite of what he so forcefully promised he would be as president. Yes, a power-hungry fascist in many respects. But Obama was the best bullshitter since Ronald Reagan, so the public always gave him a free pass on his failures.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 8:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Nazi Presidents

            Ok - and somehow this gives trump a pass - got it.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 12:14pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nazi Presidents

              No, you ding dong, it means the sword cuts both ways.
              It means that BOTH sides are guilty of defending "their guy" at the same time they're condemning the "other guy" for the same sorts of things.

              Back to the original post's point, different people would have lost their shit, but shit still would have been lost.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 12:57pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nazi Presidents

                The both sides argument is simply a device to distract and deflect, thus providing relief (a pass) for the perp, otherwise why not continue with the discussion about how such activity, no matter who has/is/will be doing it, is unacceptable and should be punished .... oh wait - that is what you are trying to avoid - ok I see.

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          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 2:16pm

            "Best bullshitter since Ronald Reagan"

            George W. Bush was pretty awful. Maybe people these days don't remember Bush's predilection for signing statements which he took to a level beyond any President before him. He also was able to suspend the budget for the Iraq war so everyone was surprised the quagmire bill cost 1.9 trillion dollars. But we like to say Thanks, Obama for all that, right?

            We haven't had honest presidents for a while now, and Obama was no different, but it gets weird when he gets dissed bracketed between Bush and Trump. It's the evangelists (the same ones that called Iraqi Freedom a just war when no other ministers would) giving Trump a mulligan that made it clear that we reserve our morals only for people we don't like and people we seek to impugn. When it's a chum, we're happy to look the other way.

            Trump is expanding drone strikes. He's desperate for a cause to blow shit up, and we're terrified he'll go nuclear. He's also thirsty for torture and just appointed a torturer to run CIA. And that's before we get to all the unbecoming behavior that has turned the US into a laughing stock on the global theater. It's before we get to the Putin-love, the blatant racism and taking cues from Fox and Friends.

            So I have really good cause to be outraged at the new boss, even if the old bosses were less than great.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 5:09pm

              Re: "Best bullshitter since Ronald Reagan"

              Signing statements ... isn't that a frivolous signature?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous, 3 Apr 2018 @ 6:11am

              Re: "Best bullshitter since Ronald Reagan"

              Yea, we thank Obama and Clinton for destroying Libya and Syria and causing the Islamic migrant invasion of the West.

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              • identicon
                Wendy Cockcroft, 4 Apr 2018 @ 5:33am

                Re: Re: "Best bullshitter since Ronald Reagan"

                And Trump for doing sod all to stop it beyond signing executive orders to stop brown people entering the country.

                As for Islamic migrant invasion, look up the word "Colonies" at some point. Have fun!

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 12:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: Nazi Presidents

          That may not be 'fascist'

          Actually, based on your wording, you are calling Obama a fascist. As you yourself point out, too many people use it as a synonym for bad. Maybe you should actually look up the definition yourself?

          decided that Congress was a mere formality and could be completely ignored in favor of presidential decrees whenever it was politically convenient for him.

          You mean like how Trump likes to sign executive orders to get what he wants? Kind of seems like Trump also has decided that Congress is a mere formality.

          mostly for his crackdown on illegal immigration

          You mean the all the people who had valid visa's/greencards/etc... that, with the stroke of a pen, he denied re-entry into the country and tried to deport the ones who already were in the country? Those "illegal" immigrants?

          which is not actually fascist, dictatorial, or unconstitutional at all

          You mean the exec orders that courts have declared fascist, dictatorial, and unconstitutional?

          Yes, both parties have shirked various responsibilities in the past. That doesn't mean we give the current moron a pass because of it.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 1:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Nazi Presidents

            But it's ok when our guy does it because it is so easy to just look the other way. When their guy does it ... oh boy the shit hits the fan. The talking heads have a field day.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 2 Apr 2018 @ 7:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Nazi Presidents

            > You mean the exec orders that courts have declared
            > fascist, dictatorial, and unconstitutional?

            No court has declared a Trump order to be fascist or dictatorial, if for no other reason than those are not legal terms and therefore no court has the legal authority to make those determinations.

            As for unconstitutional, that process is still ongoing. We'll see what the Supreme Court has to say. However, whatever its ruling may ultimately be, it will not include a determination on fascism or dictatorialism.

            > > That may not be 'fascist'

            > Actually, based on your wording, you are calling Obama a
            > fascist.

            No, my wording clearly stated it's NOT fascism.

            > Yes, both parties have shirked various responsibilities
            > in the past. That doesn't mean we give the current moron
            > a pass because of it.

            I certainly never advocated giving anyone a pass. All I said was that it's my experience that the same people who had no problem depicting Bush and Trump as Hitler lost their collective shit when Obama was given the same treatment.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2018 @ 6:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nazi Presidents

              No, my wording clearly stated it's NOT fascism.

              Fascism - form of radical authoritarian nationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce

              I don't know man, everything you accuse Obama of certainly fits the definition of fascism. Regardless of what you said you're not saying, you're basically calling Obama a fascist.

              No court has declared a Trump order to be fascist or dictatorial, if for no other reason than those are not legal terms and therefore no court has the legal authority to make those determinations.

              True, but some of his orders have been declared unconstitutional for reasons that are not all dissimilar from fascism.

              As for unconstitutional, that process is still ongoing.

              Yes and no. Several of his orders have been struck down as unconstitutional. He then revised them and signed new ones which were also struck down. It is only the latest incarnation of those that are being brought before the Supreme Court.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2018 @ 2:34pm

          Re: Re: Re: Nazi Presidents

          Yeah, that's not fascism.

          Nationalism - definitely Trump, not so much Obama

          Disdain for Human Rights - somewhat Obama with extrajudicial drone strikes and domestic spying, but Trump advocates for murdering drug dealers and killing the innocent families of terrorists, so definitely more Trump than Obama

          Identification of Enemies as Scapegoats for Unifying a Cause - Obama spoke for unity, Trump blames immigrants, hispanics, blacks, etc for problems and united a front of racists and sexists and bigots

          Supremacy of the Military - He wants a goddam military parade like North Korea

          Rampant Sexism - "grab em by the pussy"

          Controlled Mass Media - The media criticized Obama, and I'm not just talking about Fox. Trump has tried to control the media, constantly attacks them for telling the truth, and has even barred some of them from the White House press breifings

          Obsession with National Security - "build the wall" "let's nuke North Korea"

          Religion and Government are Intertwined - the evangelicals think Trump is god-sent and they excuse his sinning for their own benefit while he pretends to be a Christian (who can't quote the bible and doesn't go to church). His VP Pence hates the gays and transgender people like a good little fundamentalist

          Corporate Power is Protected - Trump's cabinet has a number of wealthy and corporate interests. Ajit Pai killed NN for his corporate buddies. The tax bill gave a big chunk of change to the wealthy and corporations are using that to fire workers and restructure, literally costing people their jobs

          Labor Power is Suppressed - Trump's administration has fought against unions in the SCOTUS, his education secretary is anti-union

          Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - "let's fund the military and build a wall, while cutting funding for the national endowment for the arts"

          Obsession with Crime and Punishment - "let's murder drug dealers," telling cops to unconstitutionally rough up suspects

          Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Do I even have to spell out examples?

          Fraudulent Elections - Sure, let's pretend Russia didn't interfere for Trump's sake, let's also pretend that Trump didn't claim that millions of illegal voters voted for his opposition when there's been almost no evidence of any voter fraud, let's also pretend that Trump didn't convene a committee to look into voter fraud and his cronies didn't claim they found voter fraud proof because some people moved to a different state and weren't required to tell the previous state that they moved so their previous voter registration could be canceled

          nuff said?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 2 Apr 2018 @ 7:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Nazi Presidents

            > Supremacy of the Military - He wants a goddam military
            . parade like North Korea

            Or France.

            Or even like the US actually *currently* does.

            I grew up in Killen, TX, right next to Fort Hood. Every 4th of July, we'd have a big parade down the main business avenue in Killeen with all sorts of military vehicles and helicopters and planes flying overhead. And they'd park the tanks and other vehicles that were too heavy to drive down the street in a nearby parking lot for the kids to climb up on and inside.

            A good time was had by all and no one was clutching their pearls and running for the fainting couch over how 'fascistic' it was.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), 31 Mar 2018 @ 3:32pm

      Re: Nazi Presidents

      <i>Something tells me the reaction would be vastly different if the article had depicted Obama as Hitler.</i>

      What?

      Do you mean the school would have apologized and taken down the article? Or that it would have left it up as people "lost their collective shit," as long as it wasn't police people? I honestly have no idea what point it is you're trying to make here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Apr 2018 @ 2:36pm

        Re: Re: Nazi Presidents

        I think BTR meant that the reaction by Techdirt commenters to your Techdirt article would be different if ...

        ... inplying that Techdirt commenters are partisan hypocrites.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 6:58am

    Geographic context

    Google Maps: Bonita High School, La Verne, CA

    Wikipedia: La Verne, California

    La Verne is a suburb 30 miles (48 km) east of Los Angeles, located in the Pomona Valley below the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 9:30am

    Okay everyone, Let's say this one more time with GUSTO!

    Snyder v. Phelps, 562 U.S. 443 (2011), is a landmark United States Supreme Court case where the Supreme Court ruled that speech on a matter of public concern, on a public street Or a public forum, cannot be the basis of liability for a tort of emotional distress, even in the circumstances that the speech is viewed or interpreted as "offensive" or "outrageous".

    (emphasis added for clarification)

    Matal vs Tam reaffirms that hate speech (WHICH THIS IS NOT) is also protected under the first amendment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 11:44am

    Incidentally, re: "Liberal Propaganda"

    Part of the point of school is to provide context: why things are what they are, what they were before, and ideally, what we would change.

    Id est, Liberal Propaganda

    Conservativism in its purest from stems from the basis that things are fine enough the way they are that we can choose to not make changes at all, or at least make changes very slowly to so as not to distress those who like the status quo.

    Liberalism recognizes that the status quo is miserable to a not-insignificant portion of the population and each day that change does not occur is to prolong their suffering. And this is a perspective that those outside their lot do not experience, and don't get without: education.

    Propaganda traditionally meant information serving a specific cause or argument, sometimes false but often true. The term has evolved much like Tyrant and Despot (which used to simply be dictators).

    Granted, some people want education to be limited to literacy and math, but then they get pissy when their kids don't understand the significance of their heritage, or American icons and the precepts of American Exceptionalism. They want their kids to be angry when certain statues are taken down and different statues are put up. And in that regard contemporary public education does become a vector to communicate lies and partial truths in order to serve a specific ideology. In that case, education is propaganda in the contemporary sense after all.

    But then it's not very liberal, now, is it?

    What it comes down to, is that our community doesn't trust that their kids have been sufficiently taught to think critically. But then teaching them to think and assess for themselves gives them the power to challenge the values with which they were raised, which they will do once they reach adolescence and are defining their identity as separate from the parents.

    And because our parents don't like that (id est, don't like their kids actually growing up) a lot of communities have stopped schools from teaching critical thinking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2018 @ 1:03pm

      Re: Incidentally, re: "Liberal Propaganda"

      Quite the quagmire ... and the "solutions" vary from hilarious to nightmare.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 3:37pm

    That's one definition of 'good'

    As most of you know, the city of La Verne Police Department has a very good, if not excellent, relationship with our school district, and especially Bonita High School, with a police officer assigned to the La Verne schools as a School Resource officer.

    I see 'grovelling servility' apparently counts as 'good, if not excellent' in that school district, with their frantic rush to the police to throw one of their teachers under the bus just in case something published my offend any sensitive police feelings.

    That sort of action does not strike me a the act of someone with an 'excellent relationship' with the police, something that would involve a measure of trust that the other party is reasonable. Rather, it comes across as one where the school feared that the police would be offended and take it out on the school/administrators, and therefore rushed to cover their own asses from an over-the-top backlash.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2018 @ 7:09am

      Re: That's one definition of 'good'

      We can't have the people talking about the oppressive socio-economic structure of our society and the obvious caste system under which we all exist.

      This needs to be named something that the people have been conditioned to abhor, otherwise it might get out of hand when more people find out how much they have been screwed over.

      The hard part is deciding which of the many dog whistles to choose from. It is interesting to watch as the chorus begins to congeal into using same dog whistle.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 3:38pm

    i ask...

    WHEN People Throw around big words, I LIKE TO.,.
    Stop them and ask them to DEFINE the word..
    Liberal?? what the hell?

    If this is Liberal, then the person saying it believes in a police state.
    Apologizing FOR THE STUDENT...is doing the same thing..
    Apologizing TO the POLICE?? I would of asked them their opinions.. And suggest that THIS IS THE TIME, (while still in school) to make friends and Impress them.. Instruct them.. Because all they see, is the BAD things, and the BAD people doing these things.. And if they were perfect..they wouldnt be human..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 30 Mar 2018 @ 3:50pm

    If I were to post to FB, site..

    I cant/wont sign up to their site..

    But would ask them if they like people with Free thinking?
    That this was a News/publication class.. And they were supposed to Create what they saw on the news..

    For all of this, they didnt talk to the student??
    Did they perchance give him other numbers...That show more blacks shoot black people..and White shoot more Whites??

    This from a nation that sends our military around the world, to shoot other people..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Brent, 31 Mar 2018 @ 12:44pm

    First Amendment rights are applicable for the publisher

    This is simply a misguided school, not a first amendment issue. If the school is the publisher, then the school gets to decide what can be published (or remain published). If the kids don’t like it, they can publish independently. On the web, it’s easy to be your own publisher. Printed copies would cost a small amount of money.

    The lesson that rights are meaningless unless you are willing to fight for them is worth teaching. If only that lesson was what the school had intended to teach.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 1 Apr 2018 @ 10:00am

    Anyone who only supports themselves being allowed to speak and no one else, is an idiot. No matter which party or group they follow.

    Supporting the silencing of anyone, will only lead to themselves being silenced.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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